Natura 2000 & LIFE+

Network of protected nature sites

Natura 2000 is the name of the European nature network, the largest network of protected areas in the world. It spans 27 countries and counts about 25,000 sites. Together, they constitute almost one-fifth of Europe’s land surface. The European nature is unique in its kind. From the polar circle to the Mediterranean coast and from the Alpine peaks to the wide open planes of Central Europe: Europe is home to plenty of special animal and plant species. Practically nowhere else in the world can you find such a vivid patchwork of landscapes on such a small area that stretches over so many different countries.

More information: Natura 2000 network ; Natura 2000 in België / Natura 2000 en Belgique ; Natura 2000 Public viewer


LIFE+: a boost for Europe’s first-rate nature

LIFE+ is the funding programme of Natura 2000, the European network of protected sites, which the Sonian Forest also belongs to. Through LIFE+, Europe is supporting environment and nature projects all over the EU. A budget of €278 million is available for the development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and communication regarding environment, nature and communication projects in the whole EU.

LIFE+ is based on three pillars:

Nature and Biodiversity:
Contributes to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the further development of the Natura 2000 network. This concerns in particular best practice and demonstration projects introducing measures for the conservation and restoration of Natura 2000. It also applies to projects that evaluate and monitor the joint nature and biodiversity policy.

Environment Policy and Governance:
Supports the implementation of the Sixth Environment Action Programme. Supports development and demonstration in the fields of climate change, environment and health.

Information and Communication:
Aims to disseminate information and raise awareness about nature and environmental issues, including forest fires.  Examples: information campaigns, conferences, publications and training.

More information about LIFE: European Commission LIFE Programme